“We are about to close the main cabin door, if you do not wish to travel to Doha, Qatar please deplane now.” I fleeting smirk glides across my face as I quietly picture myself running, arms flailing, screaming past the flight attendants and off the hulking aircraft”. The heavy door glides easily on its hinges, fitting perfectly into a readymade opening in the giant aluminum fuselage. With a mechanical “click”, it locks into place. “No going back now” I say to myself as the flight crew readies for departure. Doha, Qatar is the first major leg of my journey to Kathmandu, Nepal. Just a “quick” thirteen hour hop over the pond, a three hour layover and then another five short hours to my final destination. At least I’ll catch up on all the movies I’ve been missing. Luckily this flight is only about half full so I’ve got room to stretch out in coach.
Admittedly it was very hard leaving my wife this morning. Up until now this was a trip I was going on, not a trip I was leaving for. After the last of many goodbyes and plenty of tears, we release each other and I take my first steps into the unknown.
I have to say the most common question I’ve received while preparing for this assignment was: Are you nervous? It’s something that I’ve always had trouble understanding and when my answer is an emphatic “no”, the questioners are usually perplexed. How could you not be nervous? They would ask and by all rights are completely correct to be confused. I’m leaving for an unfamiliar country, in an unusual culture, to meet and work with new people, in a different organization, to perform an uncertain task, with little training in a short timeframe… all by myself. Wasn’t that a mouthful? But am I nervous? Nope, even after writing all that, absolutely not. I have never understood the use of worrying or being nervous about the unknown because it’s just that, unknown. It has the potential for positive or negative results depending on how you approach each situation. So if I’m not nervous than what am I? I’m excited, I’m optimistic, but most of all I’m grateful for this opportunity. I’m going to step off this plane into a future filled with possibilities. Hopefully, with a little luck and a lot of effort, I’ll make a positive impact on people’s lives.